12 March 2013

What is LOVE????

There is no singular definition of love. Thank GOODNESS. Because I would hate to narrow it down to a linear concept. 
I love the idea that love can come in the form of many things. Do you remember the Wonder Twins? (Whoa! May be totally showing my age here...) Zan could take the form of anything made of water and Jayna could take the form of any kind of animal. I LOVED that show. I loved that they were brother and sister and could work together the way the did. And true to twin theory, the two couldn't morph into their chosen forms unless they were physically touching each other. And they kicked ass. Which was the icing on the cake!
I am finding a lot of joy in discovering love in things that aren't quite so obvious. Far from the traditional societal perceptions are blossoms of love flourishing like delicate buds thriving in the cracks of the sidewalk.
These examples aren't necessarily beautiful, colorful, fragrant, or the stuff of which dreams are made. They are the second glance you wouldn't have otherwise taken. They are the extra few seconds it takes to pause and really listen to what someone says. It's the hug a child gives that needed it more than you did. 
An example of these "noticings" in my life recently:

A student who is learning about self-control gets herself in trouble and has to be removed from her classroom for some "cool down" time. This means not getting her sticker chart completely filled for the day. And this means not being able to earn a small little reward she would have come down to my office for at the end of the day. She shows up in the doorway of my office as she's heading out to get on her bus. I look up from whatever I was doing and see her face--she's wishing today had a better outcome. She knows she can't get her reward, but she says, "Can I just have a hug?" (love!) Absolutely. I give her a hug and tell her that I know today was a rough day but....and before I can finish my sentence, she says with a hopeful smile, "Oh, I know! Tomorrow's a new day!" Ah....she DOES listen to me. (love!)

Love doesn't always have to involve risk and reckless abandon...I am convinced that kind of love is overrated and only belongs on the Lifetime Channel. If you can't discover the love woven throughout the minutes of every day, you're missing out. It's the kind of love that deposits just a little into your bucket....the more you notice, the faster it accumulates. In reference to the "bucket", this book completely illustrates exactly what I am so poorly portraying: 

If you don't own this book, make it happen. It's a great one to share with your children...look for the ways they fill your bucket when you don't even realize it and teach them to fill other's.

I asked my older son tonight what he thought love was. He looked at me with such a funny face and said, "How should I know? I'm just a kid. I do love killing zombies." (love!) I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. But I do know I need to move quickly to help him start finding the love in things every day (aside from killing zombies). 

So I gave him a non-zombie example:
A little background for you: waking my boys up for school truly requires a priest and a decent quantity of holy water. Of course come Saturday, they will be awake at 4:30 asking why we haven't "started our day" yet. Anyway, a priest and a gallon of holy water are not easy to come by most weekday mornings, so I go at it alone. Apparently my oldest (age 7) literally slept with two of his army guys in his hands last night. As he stumbled downstairs and into the bathroom while grunting and speaking incoherently, the kung-fu grip on those guys was obvious. Then somewhere in between peeing in the toilet and actually flushing it, I hear this: "MOM!!!! I NEED YOUR HELP!!!! THIS IS BAD!" I run in there and he's looking at me with that look of despair; that look that says, "only YOU can fix this." And indeed, that look was right. There in the bottom of the toilet, through the thick yellow haze of the water, lay the colonel. 
Without EVEN THINKING!!!!!!, I reached right in, rescued the colonel with my bare hands, and restored him to sanitary cleanliness. My son looks at me with the one eye he has open now, and says in a voice that doesn't sound so much like Patty & Selma Bouvier anymore (Marge Simpson's older twin, chain-smoking sisters that if you watch the show you will know that they work at the...????? come on! You're about to make a connection to one of my previous posts!)

"MOM!!!! Thank you SO MUCH for saving him! That was really great! Next time, you could probably use a spoon or something and how soon till my pancakes are ready???"

THAT, my dear son, is love. Your pancakes will be ready right after I may or may not wash my hands.


Shannon Y said...

LOL! I love it!

Tam said...

You're one cool mom. Ask him if this event shows a bit of love. Who else would retrieve an army guy from pee!--a loving mom!

Shelley K. said...

LOVE it! Funny--I had a 7th grade boy ask me last week what love is! Pretty daring for a 7th grade kid!
I love how you SHOWER your love on so many kiddos! You are loved!